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Mount Hood buyers strain a little

The 2010 Mount Hood 5-ounce silver uncirculated collector coin went on sale July 28. As of the U.S. Mint’s Aug. 1 sales report, buyers have already snapped up 14,759 of the maximum 27,000 pieces that will be available.

Sure sellout, right?

Maybe not.

Three of the five designs have already sold out, but the prior one, the Grand Canyon coin is still being offered. Sales currently stand at 23,728, some 3,272 short of the sellout goal post.

More tellingly, when I first posted the Grand Canyon design to the "Mint Statistics" pages of Numismatic News, the initial sales figure was 20,834.

The design before it, Yosemite, also hit the boards at about the same level, 20,511.

Does the Mount Hood figure of 14,759 mean this fifth issue is already behind the curve to achieve a sellout?

Looks like it.

But let's look at the point from the other side. It is summer. Collectors tend to ignore their hobby for a time as they relax outside.

When they come back, they might just grab the remaining 5-ounce collector coins.

With silver getting frisky again, it is also possible that a new herd of buyers will thunder in if they figure the issue price will be raised from the $279.95 price tag attached to Mount Hood and the previous four 5-ounce collector coins.

There is one thing to remember here.

Buyers of gold and silver coins are operating on a mental hair trigger. Something that might seem unattractive one day can become the most desirable purchase the next.

With this kind of market psychology, past patterns mean less.

So while it is possible Mount Hood will not sell out, my view is that it will – even if it takes a few days or weeks longer to achieve.

Then we can focus on the 2011 collector issues – at last.